The keywords ideal for my real estate site seems to be highly competitive and difficult to rank with. What options do I have?

Ethan Kisner


Hi Ethan,

Most popular businesses face the problem of having to deal with extremely competitive keywords.

Your website being in the Real Estate space faces enormous competition from the millions of web pages on the subject of Real Estate.

The focus of website optimization for such extremely popular and competitive industries has often been misplaced in the search engine industry. The focus should be on optimizing your website based on your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). If you analyze your service and identify what is it that you offer that is different from your competitors, it is likely that you will be able to isolate your USP. Your site optimization needs to focus on serving specific real estate needs of your customers that differentiates your service from the rest. Try and leverage such focus by selecting keyword phrases that target your specific audience and are popular. Such phrases are likely to have far less competition than the generic keywords that everyone else targets

For Example, if you offer residential real estate property services in the city of Chicago, then target keywords relating to Residential Property in Chicago. Such Keywords would be much easier to get high rankings with and they would also be in tune with what your potential customers are using as their search terms in the search engines. The results would not just get you high rankings, but higher sales conversions.

The best approach to keyword selection is to select keywords with high efficiency i.e. selecting keywords that are popular yet less competitive. I have developed a formula for determining the Keyword 'Ranking' Efficiency called the 'Keyword Effectiveness Index' (KEI). You can use the guideline of my KEI formula listed here:

The article also offers further techniques on keyword selection.

Sometimes you will find attractive keyword phrases, which can bring you visitors looking for 'related' services you may not offer. Users looking for such information could be perfect for cross-selling the services of your site. Including such high- potential keyword phrases in your SEO campaign can be rewarding. If you do not have existing content on your website to optimize with such keyword phrases, then it is a good idea to write some fresh content for these keywords. For example, let's say that your research shows that a particular keyword "Mortgage Company Chicago" is very popular but not too competitive. You can write an article listing prominent companies in Chicago offering home mortgage services. You would also promote the other pages in your real estate site on this page. If this page gets good rankings, you'll be able to get a lot of visitors that may be interested in the related service that you are offering.

You could take this a step further and even work out some sort of an affiliate deal with the services that you have mentioned in your page. So, the visitors would either browse through the rest of your site and hopefully purchase what you are selling, or, would go to a mortgage service that you have reviewed in your article and purchase their services, earning you an affiliate commission.
March 22, 2004

Sumantra Roy, president of 1st Search Engine, is one of the most respected and recognized search engine positioning specialists on the Internet. Sumantra's articles on search engine optimization have been widely published and quoted in different web sites and newsletters on the Internet. His unique formula for establishing the most appropriate keywords for a site has been used by WordTracker, the most popular keyword research tool on the Internet. This formula is also used by many other search engine optimization companies for establishing the most appropriate keywords for their clients' sites.

Search Engine Guide > Sumantra Roy > Top Rankings for Competitive Keywords